I’ve switched domain a few times. Telecoms; to VoIP servers; to Boundary Security (Not firewalls, EMail and Internet scanning/Anti-Virus at the boundary); to EMail/Exchange automation, added signatures to emails automatically, and formatted them; to Security testing of Full Network Servers/Clients/AD/SMS/etc,; to ITIL Services and CRM.
In some cases it was a simple evolution. E.g. Traditional Telecoms to VoIP. And the VoIP product was product that enabled secure VoIP across a network boundary, so the next transition was to network boundary security, but with EMail.
The big changes were from the adding signatures and forcing format rules to emails, to full networks and security testing.
I have always approached everything I do in a conceptual way. e.g. Software, and even machines are about input and output (although learning machines/software aren’t quite the same anymore). So when you boil it down testing/checking is about taking a requirement that defines an output from an input and the appropriate design and making sure that with both predicted input and unexpected input you know what is coming out. It’s an oversimplification. But said with confidence in and interview has generally helped get a conversation going. It’s then about how you approach a problem. e.g. how would you test a mobile application? I’ve not tested Mobile applications, but I would start with the basic software inputs and output. Then add the hardware it is designed to work on and then introduce network conditions. So I would test on a variety of platforms (IOS, Android, Windows, Balckberry, etc) and either find out how people emulate mobile networks or think of ways myself.
The thing to remember is that there are few domains that haven’t been done and don’t have people around you to help you learn and improve. Maybe Artificial Intelligence and Learning Machines are a bit new, but there is a huge community now that would love to wrap their brains around that problem and talk about it with you.
The change is easier than you think, if you are willing to try and ask for help. Getting a HR manager to agree with you can be harder, but that’s the skill of interviewing. And the same with any move of job that stretches you. Change of domain, or moving up the ladder.
Note: In at least one of my moves I did move into a new role as the lone tester. Sometimes that’s easier to persuade the hiring manager, because they don’t know any better, but it can be harder to make the change because there is no one to tell you how it is done. In that case work close with the developers.
Changing methodology is similar challenge. Waterfall to Agile for example. Don’t stress, just dig in.
Additionally, I’ve moved from Commissioning (Old name for Client Demo) to System Integration Testing > System Testing and System of Systems Testing > Security Testing (Not Pen) > User Acceptance > and now Service Acceptance (not just software, but Software/Hardware/Training/Support/Agents/End Users/Process/Communications(Both initiating a work flow and during a work flow)/Permissions/Reporting/etc as a holistic end to end test of the complete service being sold.
I’ve not done performance or unit testing, or usability (not properly).And I’m sure there is a whole set of worlds of testing I have not touched. But with support and drive, I’m sure I could do good job.